Eternals (2021)



I want to start by saying that I enjoyed Eternals. I went in with some fairly low expectations after all the mixed reviews, but I thought it was better than expected. It was fun–and not in a “so dumb it wraps back around to enjoyable” way–and despite the long run time, I never really felt it drag. But there be spoilers ahead, so keep reading at your own discretion. Like the header said, I won’t spoil the big moments, but still.

It was an interesting experience beyond the movie itself, since I had largely avoided spoilers and the trailers revealed… well, next to nothing about the film. The Eternals are aliens with powers, they fight the deviants, and… something should happen to justify a 2 and a half hour runtime. And now that I’ve watched it, it’s a weirdly self-contained entry in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings felt largely disconnected but still had the Ten Rings organization from Iron Man, Wong from Doctor Strange, and even Abomination resurfacing after over a decade since The Incredible Hulk. But there’s none of that in Eternals. The Avengers and several noteworthy heroes are mentioned, but there’s no returning character in this.

Well, that’s not quite true. The mainest of the main characters, Sersi (Ms. Gemma Chan) had previously played Minn-Erva in Captain Marvel, making her one of the few actors to have played two different characters in the MCU movies, and quite possibly the only one whose roles were exclusively movies. Others include Ross Marquand, AKA Red Skull in Avengers: Infinity War and the voice of Ultron in What If…?, and Enver Gjokaj (IN-vair JO-kai, for those wondering) who was a cop in The Avengers and Agent Sousa in Agent Carter. Chris Evans as the Human Torch and Josh Brolin as Cable don’t count–those aren’t the MCU… as of time of posting. You’re gonna see a lot of “technically doesn’t count” in this post.

One major moment that this movie gave us is that the MCU finally has an openly queer character! With a name! Two of them, even! And one of them is even played by a gay actor! Sure, Brian Tyree Henry is presumably straight, but still! And man, people are upset by that. Even in my theater, the revelation that the Eternal Phastos has a husband was met with one guy a few rows in front of me voicing his displeasure at it. Well, respectfully, fuck you, buddy. You’re so used to heterosexuality being the norm that it never even occurred to you how utterly straight the movie was up to that point! Sersi is dating Dane Whitman (the barely present Kit Harington) and had a messy breakup with Ikaris (Richard Madden), which means that Jon Snow and Robb Stark were in a love triangle with someone whose name sounds like Cersei. Back on topic, Gilgamesh (Ma Don-seok) clearly has feelings for Thena (Angelina Jolie), Druig (Barry Keoghan) and Makkari (Lauren Ridloff) are a thing, and Sprite (Lia McHugh) is… well, the situation is complicated, but it’s still straight. The only Eternals NOT in some kind of relationship are Ajak (Salma Hayek) and Kingo (Kumail Nanjiani). There’s even a heterosexual sex scene, which was incredibly weird in a movie owned by Disney. A guy guy and a girl fucking outdoors is okay, but two men sharing one fairly chaste kiss is a bridge too far? Shut the fuck up about there being two overtly queer characters with actual fucking names–yes I’m STILL upset about “Grieving Man” in Avengers: Endgame–across 26 god damned movies!

And no, I’m not counting Scrapper 142/Valykrie in Thor: Ragnarok because they cut the scene confirming her bisexuality. She’ll go on the list after Thor: Love and Thunder.

Most of my other, less profanity-laced thoughts are full on spoilers, so I thought it would be fun to collect my thoughts in statements devoid of context. If you’ve seen the movie you’ll know what I’m talking about, but–hopefully–nothing will be too big of an obvious spoiler. So let’s go!

  • I’ve only had Karun for a day and a half, but if anything happened to him, I would kill everyone in this room and then myself.
  • If you’re cold, they’re cold. Bring them inside, or at least give them a warm meal.
  • I don’t know much about pop bands, but even I recognized (singular) them.
  • Don’t try to tell me there’s another recurring actor playing a new role, because last I checked Agents of SHIELD was non-canon.
  • And Luke Cage isn’t canon, either. Not that most people would recognize that moment, but you’ll figure it out when you inevitably Google who that was.
  • So, uh… is this getting a sequel? Because it sure wants one and I’m not sure how much it’ll intersect with other, future films. Guess we’ll find out eventually!

Previous: Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings
Next: Hawkeye

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